Applying thermal paste - your favorite method / procedure?

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Zyzzyx
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Applying thermal paste - your favorite method / procedure?

Post by Zyzzyx » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:36 pm

Ok, so with my new SLK800s and a couple m/b I've been swapping all over the place. Also cranking through the thermal paste, and reusing when I can. Been wondering how other folks apply thermal paste to their HSF.

I basically smear it on from the tube first, somewhat evenly. Then use a credit card as a spreader, working it up/down, and then side to side. Try to keep it to as small an area as possible. When it looks nice and even, not too thick, and not too thin (can't see through it), on goes the HSF.

When I then pull it back off, there's a nice little clean spot from the AMD's core, and a REAL light coating there and on the core itself. This sound about right?
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:55 pm

I don't know about you AMD guys but on PIII's and P4's with IHS's I squeeze out a bead about 1/8" thick and about 5/8" long. This (from much trial and error) is just enough to cover the heat spreader with a thick haze of TIM. I use a special Toshiba credit card to spread it with, taking care to aviod getting an excessive amount into the hole on the P4 IHS.

I also follow AS's directions about "tinning" the heatsink with some TIM that's been rubbed into it using a baggie-covered finger.
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Post by puff » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:05 pm

1) Wash hands
2) Apply small dab on top of processor
3) spread evenly with index finger


I've tried all methods, including using a credit card to evenly spread out the paste, but my finger provides the smoothest, least messy layer of paste on the core :)

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Re: Applying thermal paste - your favorite method / procedur

Post by bluehat » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:10 pm

Usually I first clean the core and heatsink with isopropyl alcohol and ear cleaner stick, then put a small drop of paste to core, and wipe it clean with a finger in a plastic bag, so that the paste goes to the microscopic valleys of the surface. It is a transparent layer.
Same thing for the bottom of the heatsink.
I noticed a 3 C difference in cpu temp between this method and conventional "thin" layer.

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Post by Henrik » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:11 pm

Ralf Hutter wrote:taking care to aviod getting an excessive amount into the hole on the P4 IHS.
What so special about that hole? Just that it is a hole? What is it for?
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Post by DryFire » Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:09 pm

i wonder the exact same thing henrik.

i use a tooth pick and a plastic bag. one to smear on the heatsink and the other to apply paste to the core.

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Post by HokieESM » Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:44 pm

I recently put an AX-7 in my quiet rig, errr, twice (don't ask). The first time, I actually followed the directions (its a PIII-S with the heatspreader) on Thermalright's website. They claim that you should "clean" the heatsink with the thermal interface material.... then you just put a grain-of-rice-sized bit of TIM on the heatspreader, and let the pressure of the heatsink clip "spread it out". Thermalright claims this lessens the number of air-bubbles in the middle.

The second time, I tried to spread it out evenly with a credit card. Ceramique, though, is pretty thick... and hard to spread. But I did an amiable job, I think.

Results: pretty much the same. :)

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Post by Athlon Powers » Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:49 pm

Athlon Powers back to refresh you with some mind boggling information!

Slap the thermal paste on, put on your heatsink and you are set to go! In fact for being so quiet get really good thermal paste and take off the fan!

DISCLAIMER: The above is not guaranteed to work, in fact on most modern day CPUs it wont, use a Panaflo. So dont sue me, OK?
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Post by Zhentar » Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:50 pm

AMD here, I put a small bead on my proc and mount the heatsink. Thats after I wipe the old stuff off with a kleenex.

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Post by sockeye » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:54 pm

I remove the excess with my tongue and then use it to brush my teeth. Save money on toothpaste and keeps those silver fillings nice n shiny.

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Post by sockeye » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:55 pm

Zhentar wrote:I put a small bead on my proc and mount the heatsink. Thats after I wipe the old stuff off with a kleenex.
Ahem. This is a family forum!

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Post by Zhentar » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:16 pm

sorry sockeye, but that stuff will make neither a good TIM or toothpaste. You're gonna have to get AS3 or Ceramique. Or maybe Shin Etsu.

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Post by Semm » Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:19 am

Sharing my little bit of experience:

With my system (Athlon XP, coming up on 2 years old) I used about half a grain of rice worth of arctic alumina. Cleaned both the HSF and processor with rubbing alcohol and a lens cloth, then applied the TIM with the razor blade in a layer that was translucent. Checked with binocular microscope for hairs, fuzz, or anything else non-TIM. Short version of results: horrible. Very high temps, but I haven't gotten around to reapplying the stuff.

With the system I just built for my fiancee (p4 2.6c), I used a 2-rice-grain-sized amount of Arctic Silver 3. Cleaned both CPU and HSF with a lense cloth and kaltreiniger (not sure exactly what it is in english, maybe acetone, but it's very volatile and cleans just about anything). Applied the stuff to the HSF, then wiped the excess off with the cloth. Stuck my finger in a plastic bag and spread it on the CPU that way. Works great and is much less of a pain to apply. AS3 comes off without TOO much effort if you wash the cloth by hand. CPU temperature is about 46 degrees (C, of course, with a zalman 7000a-Cu) after being at full load for 90 hours with the case closed.

Hope that helps.
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:57 am

Henrik wrote:
Ralf Hutter wrote:taking care to aviod getting an excessive amount into the hole on the P4 IHS.
What so special about that hole? Just that it is a hole? What is it for?
It's only there to prevent a build-up of gas underneath the IHS as the glue that affixes the IHS to the PCB is curing. After that it's as useless as tits on a boar but I don't like getting a bunch of compound down inside so I take a little care when I'm spreading it.


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Post by aristide1 » Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:36 am

On a PIII I tin the processor and the heatsink, then smooth it with a credit card. I don't wipe it off at that point, it's smooth so the 2 pieces go together.

The best solution though, is to simply send it all to Ralf and let him do it. :shock:
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Post by haysdb » Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:18 pm

Interesting the no one uses the precise techniques described on the Arctic Silver web site, for AS3 or Ceramique.

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Post by SixToes » Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:20 pm

Coolermaster pastes come with a sticker with a core sized hole in the middle for the base of the heatsink. You stick it on, squeeze out a little paste, and use the supplied card to get a nice thin even layer. Then you remove the sticker and mount the HSF. Nice and easy. Also Coolermaster Premium is relatively cheap and is actually a Shinetsu compound.
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Post by Kostik » Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:37 pm

haysdb wrote:Interesting the no one uses the precise techniques described on the Arctic Silver web site, for AS3 or Ceramique.
I do.

By the way, here is what AMD thinks about thermal paste :
High quality video (2.1Mb).
Low quality video (841kb).

They must have been smoking AS3 before making this video.
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Post by wumpus » Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:47 pm

That's a funny video. Particularly, "this is the result of using too much thermal grease". Try to imagine a fat man diving into a giant vat of thermal grease, while you are standing nearby ;)

But seriously, I feel that the risk of using NOT ENOUGH thermal paste is far more dangerous than too much. I've gotten myself in trouble a couple times going too far with the "razor thin layer" stuff.

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Post by Zhentar » Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:33 pm

I have to agree, the risk of not enough is bigger- who cares if the processor is an ugly mess of thermal grease; at least there aren't any spots that get missed.

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Post by dukla2000 » Mon Sep 22, 2003 5:31 am

My CPU are all AMD. My paste was AS (rev 0), recently went beserk and got a tube of Arctic Alumina.

I all my days never noticed a temp difference that I could attribute to application, so stick to my current method:
1) cut a line of paste about 4-5mm long on the centre (lengthways) of the slug (thickness = as it comes out of the syringe)
2) fix hs

When removing my heatsinks I usually have a little 'ridge' of paste on the hs around where the rim of the slug was, which I interpret as meaning the previous application was perfect!
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Post by miker » Mon Sep 22, 2003 6:05 am

Just use Nanotherm PCM+ and don't worry about it. So much easier than paste, and it works better. They even include a little finger condom for you to spread it around. PCM+ is liquid when it first comes out of the bottle.
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